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Eagle Point School District cuts teen parents' child care program

The Eagle Point School District has scrapped a day care program for teen parents, district officials said Monday.

This year, there were only two babies and three employees at the program, which is housed at the Eagle Point alternative and online schools at Upper Rogue Center for Educational Opportunities, 129 S. Platt St., said Michael Remick, Eagle Point schools human resources director.

"We value being able to provide child care to our teen parents," Remick said, "but when you look at the cost of the program versus the support, the cost was too high."

Next year, the district of about 4,200 pupils has to cut about $1.5 million from its $30 million budget, plus transfer about $2 million in savings to its operating fund in order to balance its budget. Unrealized income tax revenue has put the entire state in a budget crunch, and Eagle Point is no exception.

About 12 employees in the Eagle Point district were recently notified they would be laid off at the end of the school year to help offset the district's budget shortfall.

Five of those positions were elementary teachers, one was a secondary teacher, three were instructional aides and another three were day care workers who also did some low-level secretarial work, Remick said. Some of those employees could be reinstated if there are any retirements or resignations before the beginning of next school year, he said.

Teen parents who cannot find alternative child care may participate in Eagle Point's online school program, which allows students to do schoolwork at home, or may transfer to North Medford High School, which offers a child care program for teen parents, he said.

"If they have child care, they can continue to attend the regular high school," he said.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or e-mail pachen@mailtribune.com.